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Carew drops in on Twins before Angels series

MLB.com @RhettBollinger

ANAHEIM -- Hall of Famer Rod Carew has been continuing his rehab from heart and kidney transplants in mid-December, and visited with his two former organizations on Thursday, when the Angels hosted the Twins at Angel Stadium.

Carew, an 18-time All-Star who played with the Twins from 1967-78 and the Angels from 1979-85, said he's been doing physical therapy without any setbacks and watches baseball from his Southern California home every night. He's planning a trip to Minnesota this summer to see the Twins play, and also plans to make it to Hall of Fame weekend from July 28-31 in Cooperstown, but he's waiting to get cleared by a doctor to fly.

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ANAHEIM -- Hall of Famer Rod Carew has been continuing his rehab from heart and kidney transplants in mid-December, and visited with his two former organizations on Thursday, when the Angels hosted the Twins at Angel Stadium.

Carew, an 18-time All-Star who played with the Twins from 1967-78 and the Angels from 1979-85, said he's been doing physical therapy without any setbacks and watches baseball from his Southern California home every night. He's planning a trip to Minnesota this summer to see the Twins play, and also plans to make it to Hall of Fame weekend from July 28-31 in Cooperstown, but he's waiting to get cleared by a doctor to fly.

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"I watch baseball every night and click through 10 games," Carew said. "I'm still very interested. I like that the Twins are winning, which is what I look for every day. It's still a big part of my life. When you grew up playing the game and you played the game and you've done things in the game, it's still going to be there."

Carew, 71, said he goes to rehab three days a week for two hours each session. He suffered a heart attack while golfing near his home on Sept. 20, 2015, and had a left ventricular assist device implanted that he was required to use until his heart transplant.

Carew, with the help of the Twins and the Angels, created the Heart of 29 Campaign, named after his jersey number that's retired by both teams. The biggest message of his foundation is to tell fans to get their hearts checked. He's also become an ambassador to promote organ donation.

"I'm getting my strength back and my balance," Carew said. "They're teaching me how to eat right. It's been good. I exercise my legs and my arms. It's been a tough trip so now it's my job to let people be aware of it and that it's nothing to mess with. Get checked because it hurts and they lost me three times before I was brought back."

Carew regularly keeps up with the family of his transplant donor, Konrad Reuland, who played for the NFL's Baltimore Ravens. They live about 20 minutes from Carew, and he's beyond thankful that Reuland's organs helped extend his life.

"I told my doctor I wanted a young heart," Carew said with a smile. "I wanted to see if I could go out and get some base hits."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

Minnesota Twins